30 décembre 2005

Aren't you lucky...

Activity's been a bit slack around these parts, hasn't it? I know. Food, drink, and not-so-good movies do that to me (The Family Stone? Not so good, is it?).
So, anyway, quick, quick, moving on... in the spirit of the finishing year (that is a spirit, in my head, shut up), I've decided against yet another rant. Nice, eh? (Oh, don't rejoice too soon. You're getting the rant at some point.)
Instead... I give you... my new... "life project"!
(Apparently, you're better hearing this with a "let's get ready to rumble" kind of tone - well, that's what the keyboard says, and is the keyboard ever wrong? I thought so.).
To give you a bit of context... Nah, it's fine, you don't need context.
It dawned on me last evening that most American TV shows are titled with the location they're supposedly set in. So this is it - after a very perfunctory brainstorm with a friend (food, drink, and not-so-good movie, yes?), we decided I was going to tour the US, stopping only at those places that were graced with a TV show title. So far, we have:
- "L.A. Law"
- "The Streets of San Francisco"
- "Santa Barbara"
- "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
- "The O.C."
- "NYPD Blue" (that's stretching it a bit, but I really want to go to New York)
- "Dallas"
- "Providence"
...
I wish I could do the whole "Little House on the Prairie" thing. Can I just go for "Midwest" and say it's an homage?
And "Deadwood". Does it still exist?
Oh, and just so you know, I'm avoiding "Silk Stalkings" by this much, because it uses 'Palm Springs' in the French title. This much.

28 décembre 2005

Help?

I'm working from home
In subpolar temperatures
I just thought I'd share.

27 décembre 2005

Conversation with my niece

We're in the car, she's given my dad a CD to listen to on the way. I'm slightly apprehensive of the music that's about to hit my ears.
It's a... surprising... mix for a 7-year-old. With soul, R&B, rap, and French "variété" (crap, basically).
She goes:
- Oh I looooove the next song - I mean I love it a lot more than the first one, that I already really really liked - but you don't have to ask Papy to turn the volume up, it's fine. I really love it, but it's fine.
- OK. I won't then.
Cue some really nasty piece of music.
- We're going to have to work on those musical tastes of yours, aren't we?
- What language is it in?
- That's English.
- Well then. Shouldn't you love it too?
Hmmm. Her teenage years should be interesting.

23 décembre 2005

Crunch time, isn't it.

Joyeux Noël à tous.
Party hard, eat plenty, drink all you can, and don't be sick on your parents' couch.

21 décembre 2005

Things I hate - Part the nth

Two days before Christmas, and wouldn't you know it.
Old people and pram pushers. Indiscriminately.

Well. When they behave like the world is their oyster, the shell of which is completely disregardable. That, not to put too fine a point to it, shits me.
I am fed up to the back teeth of being shoved front and back in the shops, because Saturday afternoon is the only moment that all of Paris' 75-year-old grans could spare for last-bloody-minute Christmas shopping, of being mumbled at because my standing self is taking up too much necessary space on the overcrowded bus that one of our friends the grans' older sister just had to take then, at rush hour, because her very urgent appointment at the hairdresser's for yet another blue rinse couldn't wait, could it, of hearing lengthy lectures about respect, how it was in the good old days when the youths knew to respect their elders, and BLAH.
I am very respectful of my elders. (Yes I am. Hey. Be on my side here.) Just stop shoving your age in my face like it earns you every goddam right on the face of the planet. It makes me mix my metaphors, and it's not good.
Similarly, the mother who steps up her pace, using her pram as a shield, because I might otherwise beat her to the boulangerie counter, or wants, nay, demands, oh forget it, grabs priority on the sidewalk because she has a pram, and actually uses said pram as a tank, just awakens all my killing, jungle-survival instincts and I instantly mutate into a blackened-faced, knife-between-teethed, combat-wearing, Rambo-like figure shouting "Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe!"
So yeah. I'm now toying with the idea of setting up a non-profit, just-for-kicks association that would answer to the same basic principle as
Death Race 2000. The more you hit, the more points you get. Who's with me?

20 décembre 2005

Oh... er... Hmmm.

How odd. Apparently the Christmas spirit loves a good bashing.
And just what makes me come to this dubiously hasty conclusion? Well... Tonight I received an email with something very close to a job offer in it.
Granted, it's completely contingent on both a translation test and a job interview, but let me keep my optimism for a little while and think that maybe, just maybe, I've had something akin to a Christmas miracle.

Oi! You up there! Big fat bloke in red! There's a couple more I need! Don't you dare consider your job done just because I got an email! Plus it's in Canada, which means that that couple more miracles are non negotiable, you slob. Get cracking on the rest of them.

Hey, cut me some slack here, OK. Apparently nagging's the only way I'll get some stuff done around this place. So I'm not done being unpleasant just yet. Just so you know.
Oh, and also. Don't jinx me. Please.

I'm exceptionally brilliant and fantastic

Go on, contradict me. If you dare.

Yeah, I know.
But it's Christmas. I need to believe in something. So I've decided I would believe in me, myself, and all my other personalities. And you've all come to realize I am a miracle in and of myself, haven't you?
Don't worry, I've checked. 'Miracle' doesn't necessarily imply 'good', it can simply mean supernatural in origin.

But. As it happens, I have also had completely supernatural-in-origin moments where I was briefly kind, good-hearted, generous, funny, and totally, totally unrecognized. I completely qualify.

On this note, let me warn my family. Who hasn't read any of this in a long time (and who can blame them?), but hey, whoever looked for coherence and rationality on this site has got a worse sense of direction than I do, and that's saying a lot. So let me warn my family, I say. Your presents this year? Me. All of us. Aren't you lucky? Yeah, I think so too.

18 décembre 2005

Weekend homework

Carl, over at Stainless Steel Droppings, has tagged me, the little devil. And why would he want to tag me? To know how weird I am, no less. Like you didn't know how weird I am already... After all, most of the memes I've been hit with had sumpin' to do with weirdness, idisyncrasies, quirks... Plus, let's face it, even without the memes, you had some inkling of the weirdness, didn't you, you perceptive little monkeys?

[Rules:
The first player of this game starts with the topic "five weird habits of yourself", and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don’t forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says "You are tagged" (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.]

OK...
- I'm a compulsive shampoo buyer. I realized the other day that there are 5 bottles of different shampoo on my bathtub shelf thingy. That's five bottles of different shampoo. There'd be ten if I didn't think that would make me qualify as a fetishist of my own hair. Which I'm not. Honest.
Oops I did it again. Six bottles now.
- My memory is so good I've decided it's a handicap. There are so many things I remember that it's scary, mostly to people who forget that I do. If the conversation allows (contextwise obviously, I'm not totally bonkers... Or... am I?), I can quote back something that someone said to me in passing six days, six months or six years ago. If I push the concept, it means some of the stuff I wish I could forget... well, I don't.
Of course, I do lapse every now and again, and have been known to forget my current credit card PIN (but I do remember the PIN for the bank card I had in Scotland. Ten years ago.) or door code. 'Cause life would be no fun otherwise, would it.
- Although I have two left hands and ten thumbs and can't DIY to save my life, I am very good with connecting and generally sussing out electrical/electronical devices. That means that all cables are apparent at my flat. That's a lot of cables. If you'll punch holes in my walls and fix shelves and hide the cables for me, I'll come and fix your VCR or DVD writer's f#@&ing preset that is so complicated to work out that you haven't been able to tape "The Young and the Restless" for two whole months now, and I'll throw in some limited computer hotlining. Does that make me an idiot savant? No, don't answer that.
- Because my mind can hop from one idea to ten others through various associations in barely half a millisecond, I am the undisputed champion of non sequiturs. Or gaffes. Or both. Like, "ooh, talking of trowel-applied make-up, your skin looks much better these days". None of which even remotely reflects what I actually meant at the time, obviously. Oh the laughs.
- "Robinson Crusoe" was the most boring book I've ever read, and I hated Mary Shelley's writing in "Frankenstein". Don't know if that's weird, but I needed it off my chest.

There are a few people I'd love to tag with this, but I ain't gonna. What can I say, I'm weird.

15 décembre 2005

Oh sod.

A pounding headache is not the most pleasant thing to wake up to.

14 décembre 2005

Some people are just bored silly

Emphasis on silly.

The phone just rang.
"Hey, how are you?" went the guy.
The sound of the most annoying ringtones you could ever imagine - 'Crazy Frog'
(no, I'm not talking about myself) and 'Ode to Joy' leading - started going off in my head all at the same time. That's my cue for "alert! alert!".
Half a second's blank on my side to allow for the alarm bells to quieten down.
"Good."
I needed another sentence to work out if I knew him - and simply didn't recognise his voice - or not.
"Am I interrupting anything?"
Not.
"Working."
I don't know why I didn't hang up then.
"Oh, working, what is it you do?"
"Working. Bye."
Now the hanging-up on my part.

I hope to god he was random-dialling and doesn't actually have my phone number stored somewhere. What if he knows where I live?
That would certainly make for some lively blogging.
Hopefully.


To be completely honest, and although I wish I could say I was heroic and one-upped John McClane in the live-action one-liner department, he didn't sound threatening, just extremely, extremely irritating, with a voice, and matching tone, that says 'I'm irresistible, so why resist?', and makes me want to kick.

But the last time I had an anonymous caller was something like 12 years ago, the guy would press 'redial' all the time, and it was a bit scary.
Ooh. Maybe he found me again. I'm a sucker for reunions.

12 décembre 2005

Things I hate - part the third

Aren't I on a roll with this? I'm going to get rid of all my aggressiveness and obnoxiousness and other words finishing in -ness and denoting general unpleasant(all together now)ness, and my family might even get to enjoy Christmas this year.

On with the programme then.
Working from home. I mean I don't hate it, because I actually enjoy it, but I hate it. Am I being clear? Do you understand how not completely mad I'm being, but just nuanced? I hate having to get up (ooh, talking of getting up, I had a nightmare last night, and for the first time in my life, I woke up screaming. Should I make a wish? Or if we tie this in with pretty much the whole content of this blog and this post specifically, should I just get myself committed? Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.)
having to get up, out from under the blankets in my polar flat (hey, you go back a couple lines, you'll find the beginning of that sentence, give me a break. Think of it as optical training. Keeps your eyes fit. We keep forgetting about our eyes. A couple of lines higher now. Go on! Move that lazy fat eye! It's important to push one's limits every once in a while.)
in my polar flat, because winter is here
—oh yes, we don't know whether Christmas will be white, but let's not kid ourselves here, people, winter is hereand knowing that not only will I be freezing my butt off, I will also have to get to work in these inhuman(e) temperatures. And like, straight away. Barely time for a cup of (gag) instant coffee. I say gag, but hey, it's warm.
And there's so much daytime TV to watch. So yeah, all about decisions, priorities, choices. Or not.
Also, now that I have agreed to translate what is, in essence, a pop quiz, and that I'm basically stuck with it for a whole week, I realize
—always too late, always too lateit's actually a lot of work. And I mean a lot of work. This is a British game we're talking about. Well, believe it, or believe it, but they didn't even pretend they were making an effort. It's all about British culture. Come on, now, game developers, get a little creative, why don't you? Next time you wake up not screaming and think "ooh I'm gonna develop myself a little game, rightee-o", just think a little bit further down the support line, of all those translators you're bound to stick in a bit of a puddle by asking questions about Blue Peter and Farmer George. OK? OK.
So yeah, working from home. Cool, and yet, not so cool.

11 décembre 2005

Things I hate - part the second

Let's have a quick etiquette/politeness/simple manners rundown here. You meet someone, you say hello; you receive something, you say thank you; you cough, you cover your mouth.
Simple. Basic. Easy.
See, when I'm in the metro - not a mood-positive to begin with - and someone coughs right in my face without covering their bloody mouth ("bloody" being an unfortunate figure of speech at this juncture, but what the hey, I'll leave it in, it ties in well with what's to follow, consider yourself warned), it makes me want to charitably reach down their throat and rip out their lungs to get them rid of whatever it is that is obviously hindering their breathing so badly that they don't even have the strength to lift their hand to their mouth. Desperate times call for their desperate measures, what can I say.

09 décembre 2005

Things I hate - part the first

The cold water that pours out first from the shower head.

Honestly, I do hate that with a good many fibers of my body. Quite literally.
I reckon that this cold water
sneaking down on you is single-handedly responsible for people hating The Morning. Even when I'm in a good mood when I get up (and yes, that happens, shut up), the couple of seconds it takes for the pouring water to be warm are enough to make me extremely grumpy in the sub-polar temperatures we've been experiencing lately in the wee hours. And don't. Tell me it's not that cold. Just don't.
And I know the simple way would be to hold the shower head down for the first couple of seconds. But let's face it, I'm barely awake enough to remember my own name when I step into the shower, I doubt I'd think of unhooking the thing and holding it away from me.
Then again, maybe subconsciously I love the thermal shock.
I've already thought of a solution, that would potentially solve a few of my problems. I could go out in the buff and run around the block a couple of times before my shower, all the while chanting to the moon and the stars: that would probably make the pouring water seem boiling hot by comparison; the chanting might work towards either bringing about that seasonal miracle I've been ranting on for ever or making my upstairs neighbours move out - which might also count as a miracle, let's not be fussy; or I might catch pneumonia and die, and well, that'd pretty much solve all of it, wouldn't it?

Yes, it's Friday and I'm a drama queen.

08 décembre 2005

Just. Bloody. Typical.

A couple of weeks ago, on Craigslist, there was an ad for a Czech translator/proofreader in NYC. I say Czech, but it was probably Spanish. I could have picked any language that I can't speak except to order beer, and there's a few of those. Languages, not beer, you cheeky monkeys.
I drafted a response anyway, thinking that if they needed a Turkmen one then, they might need a French one soon, and that when they needed the French one, I'd be one step ahead.
Am I smart, or am I smart?
Go for "or". It's your safest bet. To wit.
A couple of days ago, in a fit of draft cleaning because my gmail was getting out of control (and honestly, "2.6 MB and counting"? 1. they're counting slow, 2. just not good enough), I deleted all the drafts that I was never going to finish, send or... finish or send. There really are only two options for draft emails, aren't there? I mean, an actual letter I could also feed to the sharks, make a plane out of, tear to shreds in a manic fit, etc. but for an email?
Anyway. So I "moved to trash", with gusto, for a while, and my draft box is now blissfully empty. And feeling good.
(I know what you're thinking. Of course I empty the trash every once in a while.)
Ah, the satisfaction fate must be feeling when it knows it's coming back to bite someone right where it hurts. Or stings at the very least.
This morning, Bloglines was telling me that people had gone berserk with updates during the night. Nosily eager to hear what half the world had been up to, I went to check, saw 7 new items in "jobsearch" (I am nothing if not a creative labeller), opened that, and bam. French Proofreader, NYC. I have now been trying for 45 minutes to rewrite that letter, and nothing - application letters are now coming out my nose, ears, and eyes I'm so fed up with them.
All I want to do is attach my résumé and say "pick me! pick me!". Literally. Reckon they'd go for that?

07 décembre 2005

Wednesday?

Is today only Wednesday? I thought time flew when you were having fun, and yet (Terri did say I was blessed yesterday), time seems to have slowed down to a crawl so I can enjoy more of it. All. Of it. How thoughtful.
Still, I can't seem to have enough of it so I can do everything I want to do. How unpractical.
I need to: do some grocery shopping, do some girl shopping (lots of that - ojala), sleep off the alcohol we had last night (am I turning into an alcoholic? Ojala.)
...
Oh dear. Almost forgot. I need to work.
That's only the tip of the iceberg, people! And that's only today!

05 décembre 2005

A Christmas story

Horrible things have been uttered about the metro and the bus on this here site. Forgive me, reader, for I obviously knew not what I was saying.
This evening, my daily metro ride home was made much, much longer by a technical incident about which we were not given any details - but I can feel a rant coming on when I really don't want to sound anything but grateful, and filled with awe.
After all, it only took the driver four or five unexplained 5-minute stops to tell us that indeed some breakdown had occurred further down the line; sometimes they don't even bother to explain, so I should be grateful for that.
Plus that was her cue for a woman to start rambling on an on. and on. and then some, about the unreliability of metro lines in Paris, which I thought was very entertaining of her, especially as she managed to speak over my music, so I could hear her fine. Again, I thought it rather unusual, albeit in a thoughtful way, of RATP (the Paris metro authority), to provide their passengers with some quality
distraction while we were stuck in there. Kept the annoyance degree to a minimum, if you ask me.
But wait, there's more! There's better! In keeping with the Christmas spirit that has been washing over all of us lately, they announced at one point that the train would not go any further, but that the next one was right behind us. Now you think I'm being sarcastic mentioning the Christmas spirit. Well, no I'm not. And here's why. We all stepped out onto the platform, while the rambling woman kept up her routine, and boy was she hilarious. I'm still smiling now just thinking of her. We waited for the next metro with her act on in the very very near background. My jaws hurt I'm smiling so much. And then the metro arrived.
And that's where the real Christmas miracle happened. It was full, you see. RATP had actually thought of all us lonely people, who hardly manage to stand upright during December, burdened as we are by bitterness, and reckoned some human warmth would be a comfort. Good thinking, I say, especially in winter. Now, if you think that's the miracle, think again. That's only part of it. The real thing is this:
you think not one more person is going to fit in that tiny, cramped, and full to the brim space that is the metro car? That's forgetting about the miracle of rush-hour Christmas, buddy!
RATP have made h
uman bodies infinitely compressible. Is that a miracle, or what?

04 décembre 2005

Untitled but long - Part 2

First part here. I'm stuck. And hoping that something good will emerge at some point. In the meantime, I have to make do with the following.

The light inside was glaring, after the dark cushion of the outside, and the buzzing of the overhead lights made her feel like she had tinnitus. She'd never noticed it before, covered as it usually was by the chatter and general hubbub of people in stores, and it dawned on her that she was the only one there, apart from the clerk, a middle-aged man who strangely looked like he didn't belong here and seemed bored out of his head.
"Hi", she said with a smile. He smiled back, apparently numbed out by the lack of customers and lacking the strength or willpower to utter a simple "hi".
Hello, kindred spirit. You're bored, I'm angry and scared; shall we use the cover of darkness to share a little humanity?
She went straight to the healthcare aisle, grabbed a box of Maalox, browsed the magazine rack to buy herself a little time, and walked to the counter to pay.
"Not exactly a busy night, eh?" Small talk. Focus on the small talk.
"Um, no. It's been real quiet tonight. In fact, you're my first customer in over an hour. And there's nothing on TV either. That'll be 2.99 please. Apart from the usual reruns, I mean. And I've seen those so often I can play them in my head without the use of the screen. I'm bored silly, really." He chuckled quietly.
My, my. You want to talk, after all. OK, let's. She pushed some change on the counter.
"Oh don't I know what you mean. Hate those. Even if I did like the show to begin with, there is such a thing as overdoing the reruns. Someone should tell the networks."
"Ha, I know. On quiet nights, I usually think I should just write an angry-viewer letter, sign a different name each time, and send it on. Maybe after a while, they'd get the hint. No harm in dreaming, right?"
"No harm indeed. You should do it. Also, you've got a wide choice of gossip rags there, reading them might prove entertaining while you wait for their reply", she said in a joking tone. Could she be any duller?
"God no. No offence, but I hate those. I'd rather gnaw my right arm off than read them."
"None taken, I don't read them. Not at the doctor's, not at the hairdresser's. I'm that much of a poser that I bring a book with me."
"Hear hear. I do that too. It's great being a poser."
He flashed a smile that made her feel grateful she'd stopped here—the kind of smile that spoke volumes.
She laughed. And oh how good it felt. She caught herself looking at him not in the eyes, but at their underside. It looked so smooth it seemed to belie his age. She wanted to touch her thumb very lightly to the skin there, to see if it was as soft as it looked.
"I'll refer some people to you, shall I? You tell 'em. Been given hell about that for years."
"With pleasure."
"Thank you, sir. I hope the rest of the night passes quickly."
"It certainly will now. Drive safely."
"Well... Bye then."
"Bye. And come back soon!" That last was said with both heavy irony—as if anyone in their right mind would want to come back soon— and what she decided was genuine hope. Wishing she knew him, she looked back.
"I will. You take care."

She was humming 'Sitting on the Dock of the Bay' as she got behind the wheel. Had she really left the flat in a huff to end all huffs a mere half-hour ago?
It took her a while to start the car. The old heap was nearing the end of its useful life. Stephen’s argument for keeping it was its sentimental value—yeah, whatever, if you asked her.
Stephen. She was ready to talk to him now. This chasing after her own tail was not cutting it anymore; he deserved her trust, however much that cost her. And more than trust, he deserved to decide if he wanted to spend his life, or a moment, with her, once she'd let him know a bit more of her story.
Funny how things happened, how decisions were made, how lives could be changed. Sometimes it felt like chance encounters made free will redundant. The clerk had looked like a good man, but a sad man. She didn't want to be good-but-sad. She wanted to be happy. Serenely, selfishly so. Surely that also happened to good people.

01 décembre 2005

Friday!

It's been a long week. A looooong week.

Blonde bimbos in helmets

There is something extremely frustrating about being in a bad mood, at home, with a knot at the pit of your stomach for wanting to scream - that's how much of a bad mood you're in - and not even being able to play some good, relaxing music like Metallica or Iron Maiden or Dean Martin because your neighbour has decided to play Die Walküre loud enough that you can definitely hear it above your own music, and low enough that it doesn't constitute much more than an annoying background noise.
So that wasn't relaxing.
And then I heard that the building-that-won't-die will in fact so not die that it'll cost me a literal arm and a literal leg to pay for the works that have just been voted on. Literally. Well, I'm going to have to sell something to pay for those, and I really want to keep my retinas. And to add insult to injury, the um-ing and er-ing neighbour has offered to see me for a debrief (because I was stuck in the office at the time of the meeting when all of this was decided. That was my excuse anyway.). Selling my retinas won't even be an option after that, I'll have clawed my own eyes out.
So... I'd say life is good, but the Christmas spirit hasn't reached me yet.
Oh yeah, cause Christmas is officially upon us,
now that December has just started (white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit, of course). Bleargh. When are we allowed to eat the advent choccies? I mean, come on. Christmas gotta have some positive aspects...

30 novembre 2005

ohgodohgodohgodohgod

The blue screen of death has just made a short but oh so marking appearance on my laptop. I feel like the sign of the beast is upon me. If only it would take Sam Neill's appearance. I'm impressionable, you see. I scare easily. I'm a girl. I read a lot of romance novels and watch a lot of horror movies. I know nothing about computers. I have to stop using 'I'. At least two of the above are complete crocks, can you spot them?
Anyway. You don't hear from me within a week, you call the police, all right?

29 novembre 2005

An even quicker debrief - with pictures

Most of the Brussels pictures I've posted on Flickr were taken last year. And before you boo, you try to take pictures when it's snowing, when it's so cold your fingers burn so much that you need to wear very unhandy gloves, and when the ground is so slippery you walk at about the same pace as an old lady with a Zimmerframe.
That's really all I have to say.
Oh, that and the pictures are not my best. Then again, it was already very cold last year. I'm beginning to wonder if November-December are such hot months to visit Brussels.

27 novembre 2005

Quick debrief

It snowed. It was cold. I tasted more beer in two and a half days than in the rest of my life combined. I also ate more potatoes, sugar and fat than in the rest of my life combined. It was great.
And then I came back to Paris. It had snowed. It was cold. I lost a ring on the bus home, and I'm very pissed off. On the plus side, the ladybug that had chosen my ceiling to die has suddenly come back to life.
And there was a huge spider on my bedroom wall (huge being a slight exaggeration, but still. It was biggish.). "Araignée du soir, espoir" notwithstanding, I killed it after a very Rambo-like, "you're ugly as fuck, darling, and you're dying. Now."
Thrilling, chilling, blood-curdling.

25 novembre 2005

Everybody west of here is having a long weekend, so why can't I?

I'm off to Brussels this afternoon, for a longish weekend of friends, mussels, beer, beer, waffles, beer, and maybe some alcohol. In no particular order, really.
Oh and chocolate. How could I forget. Then beer. Well. I'll have to, won't I? Seeing as I'll probably be feeling pangs of acute guilt after the chocolate.

True to form, my bag is not even a concept at this stage.
OK, what do I need? Camera. Money. Coats. Loooots of coats. It's freezing up there.
That shouldn't take too long to pack, should it?

23 novembre 2005

My letter to Santa

Thank whomever for spammers, because without them, I would have forgotten entirely about that little piece of seasonal begging and crying.
[Aside
Is it everyone these days or just me who's getting tons of spam in their email? If the order confirmations I'm drowning under are to be believed, I have ordered and subscribed to so much stuff lately that I can't have one lucky penny left for all those great OEM and Viagra offers. Luckily, some well intentioned people have also reminded me that I have yet to write my letter to Santa.]
I find it is nothing short of a Christmas miracle that the kindness of strangers extends to this. 'Tis the season for it, though, and I'm hardly one to complain. Am I? Anyway. Here goes.

Dear Santa,

Only one month to go before your ONE day of work in the whole year (don't you dare start whining about it) and I know you're probably very busy whipping your cheap workforce elves so they produce all the crap toys you've been asked as bribes presents for Crimbo, but you know what they say, right, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I'm not one to blow a chance when I get one.
Yes, I've been very good this year, and below is a list of things that would be great "you've been very good this year" presents and would make me happy. Very happy indeed. I know. Making a 30-something happy is not necessarily part of your job description. Still. Ever heard of ripple effects? Well then. I strongly suggest you make me happy. The ripple effects might be nothing short of unmanageable otherwise. On the other hand, if you do make me happy, the ripple effects will probably make your job so much easier next year. Give it a thought, will you? Plus, I'm not asking for all of it. A carefully thought-out selection could do wonders to pacify me. Agreed? Goody.

Here goes:
A job that makes me happy to wake up in the morning.
A toyboy. I'm sure a toyboy would make me happy to wake up in the morning.
The opportunity to see some more of the world
—that goes best when considered in conjunction with the job thing. Oh hell, and the toyboy thing.
The ability to say "no".
The ability to say "fuck right off". Oh hang on. I may have that already.
The ability to DIY.
The willpower and discipline to finish what I've started. With a bang.
A little bit of luck. Screw that. A lot of luck.

In your free time, you may also want to try your hand at peace on earth and the end of poverty and hunger. With
364 days of free time per year, surely you'll manage to squeeze it in between a game of golf and a tennis match. I'm not holding my breath, but it'd be a nice thoughtquite in keeping with the spirit, really.

Anyway, you take care of yourself, wrap up well, and buckle up on that sleigh
you never know where the drunk driver is going to come flying from that night.

Love and kisses.
anne
Darkness.
Blankets.
Warm.
Sleep.
More.
And more.
Mmmm.

21 novembre 2005

Okay, people, this is what I call a sign

Nicole Richie has a celebrity crush on Jeff Goldblum. She's had it, I quote, since she "was young". If I needed another reason to stop drooling over this fine specimen of a man, I don't think I do anymore.
She scares me. I don't want to be associated with her in any way, shape or form. Pun. Very much. Intended. Her eyes are now bulging out of her skull she's so skinny. Her breastbones are jutting out of her outfit, and she's... ugh. She reminds me of Corpse Bride. Not in a good way.
To be honest, I don't know what scares me the most: Nicole Richie herself, or the fact that somehow, I share(d) something with her. I'll go back to fancying John Goodman or Robbie Coltrane, I think. At least with them, I'm pretty sure I won't be getting competition from anorexic bimbos.
Cause otherwise I just can't win, can I?

Oh, yeah. She's written a book. A novel. It's, and I quote, electrifying. Yet, I think I'd rather run my hand under a tap then stick two fingers in a power outlet than read it.
But the "also bought" and "also viewed" lists are priceless.
Yes I'm a snob.

20 novembre 2005

Untitled but long

(Hence, Part 1, unless you think it's crap...)

She'd stormed out of the flat. She had no idea where she was going, but she knew she had to do something, she’d go mad otherwise. Clinically mad, not just possessed by a fury so intense that her heart threatened to explode right out of her chest.
She was angry at the entire world, at Stephen, at herself.
He had been really good at getting her mad lately. Now that was usually fine, she was all for annoying people, especially her close circle, and god knew she did that a lot anyway. But there had to be a limit, and flirting very obviously with that girl at the party was evidently where that limit stood with her.
She couldn’t comprehend why she hadn’t talked to him about it. She'd shut up, let it eat at her, all the while smiling until her jaw hurt, talking to other people, faking interest, feigning not to notice the sympathetic looks she'd got from some annoyingly well-meaning do-gooder wifey types... And now the anger was fighting it with a fear so uncontrollable she felt she would have to wail for a long time before either even started to calm down.
On their return home, she’d locked herself in the bathroom to cry hot, silent tears, because she was adamant that Stephen shouldn’t see or hear her. She didn’t know how she’d respond to his questioning if he did. That was how much of a coward she had become; she was so scared of losing him she didn't even dare confront him anymore. Talk about a catch-22. She would lose him eventually. She would lose him because everything would be tainted with all of the unspoken grievances, all the jealousies left unsaid. She would lose him because one day, she wouldn't be able to hold it in anymore and all of it would just spew out of her in one unstoppable torrent of frustrations that would sweep away any hope of salvaging their relationship. She knew that, and yet she was taking that foolish chance. Fear was one powerful bastard when it came to reasoning.
The knot in her stomach tightened even more at the thought.
"You all right? You've been in there for a bloody long time, darlin'..."
Stephen sounded worried. She looked at her watch; she'd been crying for a good ten minutes.
"Nauseous. Something I ate, I guess."
Her voice sounded strangled and choked, but that could easily be explained now.
"Can I get you anything?"
He tried to open the door.
"Babe? You OK?"
"I am hurling, Stephen", she snarled. "Can I do that in peace?"
"Whoa... where did that come from? Fine. Whatever."
Anger was apparently catching quickly. She might not be brave enough to talk, but it was strangely satisfying to think that maybe he'd be as angry as she was. God she was sick.
She flushed the loo and ran the tap for credibility's sake. What exactly was she playing at?
When she got out of the bathroom, she walked straight to the car keys and grabbed her bag.
"Going out to find a quieter place to puke, are you?"
She glared at him. She felt her eyes start to burn again, quickly turned away and replied very quietly.
"We're out of antacids."
"Maybe you should lie down, and I'll go get some?"
Worried again.
"Thanks. The fresh air will do me good." It was an effort not to scream. How could she love him that much and want to claw his eyes out at the same time?
"I'll drive you then, shall I? Maybe you shouldn't take the car if you're not feeling well."
"Stephen, give me a break. I'm not at death's door yet."
"Oh for fuck's sake, will you tell me what's wrong?!"
"Nothing".
She left.

There was something about travelling at night that she had always found soothing, for as long as she remembered. Something about the headlights of other cars, the darkness around, the asphalt unfurling in front of her... The connection between strangers who happened on the same train, the same plane, or at the same rest areas... Something was at play at night between people who weren't in their homes, and she had always felt it was a good something. She had never been able to express or explain it properly but she loved the feeling that world peace could probably be achieved if world leaders would take a joint night-time trip. The 1918 armistice had been signed at 5:00 a.m. in a train-car. She had a point.
She smiled to herself. It felt good.
The lights of a convenience store pierced the darkness. She signalled to no one that she was stopping there. Stephen would certainly appreciate the fact that she'd bought Maalox when both had already marvelled at how useless Maalox was against nausea. Oh well.

17 novembre 2005

Violence might not be a solution

But boy wouldn't it be nice to just use well-targeted (or messy, at this point, I can't say I'm fussed) violence every now and again, just to teach those cretins a lesson?
I went to the post-office today. Yes, my life is thrilling, whatever. We'll talk about my life, or lack thereof, some other time, shall we?
I had been waiting for two books for ever, and they finally got here today. Actually the postman or delivery person or whatever they're called for this kind of trackable parcel service was apparently round to my flat twice and I wasn't there twice. In the morning. I wasn't working this week. I was hungover yesterday. I would have heard the bell as loudly as if it'd been rung inside of my own head. Who the... hell... does he think he's kidding?
So off I went to the post-office, armed with patience (don't know if it's a phrase in English, but it is in French, and boy does it ever apply), and was annoyed from the onset to see that three people were manning the desks, or, again, whatever they're called, for a 25 strong queue.
I'm incensed all over again now. Which explains the definite hint of aphasia. I can feel my blood bubbling, the voices inside my head have gone quiet, and my fingertips are tingling. Bear with me. Or don't, actually, that's the beauty of the internet, isn't it. You don't, in fact, have to hear this out.
OK, where was I? Oh yes. The post-office. The queue. The 3 people for the entire queue.
Well, let's just say sometimes I'm grateful I never did any martial arts or gun-training. And leave it at that.

But they'll pay one day. Surely. Karmic retribution or something equally painful. And I'll laugh that day. I will be there and I will be laughing. I'll wave the two paperbacks that I queued for for half an hour and had been waiting for for two months, I'll wave the CD that she sent me and took a month and a half to arrive from the US, I'll wave the printer that I had to wait in line for for god knows how long, I'll wave the photos, the DVDs, the registered mail, I'll just wave it all and cackle wildly!
And then they'll shoot me up with some kind of sedative and I'll be happy again.

Oh, but I still have to think of the punishment they'll be going through while I cackle. Suggestions?
Anyone? Anyone? Something d-o-o...?

16 novembre 2005

Warmothon

Paris is cold. Paris is freezing.
Paris may have had a gorgeous October month, but that is now well in the past. Please believe me when I say that it is now cold.
Emphasis on cold.
There is no such thing as a middle ground in Paris this time of year. It's either balmy or freezing. And Paris displays an acutely appalling and appallingly acute lack of double-glazing. My flat is sorely affected. I am freezing. I have turned on the heaters, but needless to say, electric heating has no power over the gods or demons of the cold. In fact, I believe it is fair to assume that the gods or demons (I really am enclined to think they are exclusively demons) are laughing maniacally and having a right blast just looking at the electric consumption of my heaters. I believe the demons of the cold have drafted excel tables for the sole purpose of comparing the electric consumption of my heaters and their actual heat generation, and are struggling to catch their breath as I type. I would love to say they might die of hysterical laughter, but we know that's not going to happen. What will happen, I suspect, is that their bloody cousins, the gods or demons of strange and annoying weather phenomenons, will send a gust of even icier wind right when things seem to be desperate for the demons of the cold, which will have two effects: one, it will surprise the demons of the cold into stopping laughing just long enough so they can catch their breath; two, it will make the cold even more biting and my heaters even more ineffectual, so that those bastards will start laughing again immediately.
A whole season. A whole season of having fate point its claws at me and laugh.
I am now in the throes of a severe depression, just thinking that this sorry state of affairs will last for four solid months, without the faintest hope of a reprieve for the holidays.
You'd think the nice thing to do for Christmas would be to make sure everybody's comfy and cosy, wouldn't you? Alas. We all know that Santa doesn't really care about us being comfy or cosy, right? Santa just wants to dump his presents into our socks, and that's that. Fat lot of good that'll do me if I'm blue.
So I will now appeal to your generosity. Together, we can make it happen. Please. How together and what would we make happen? Well, I could be warm, and it could all be thanks to you.
Send blankets! Send logs, coal, Barbara Cartland books, whatever, as long as it burns! Send alcohol! Send men! You get the gist, people!

15 novembre 2005

Let's all have a big cheer for alcohol

All right, so yesterday I was complaining about not being a lady, and now, back from an evening out drinking with my girlfriends - who dragged me out on pure emotional blackmail, though -, I'm a student again. I'm starved. I want pasta. I want toast. I want anything that we used to have at 2 in the morning after a night at the pub. I'm hungry, people!
Tonight was lovely.
First because it is nice to pretend that life, every now and again, can be a poor woman's Sex and the City. So beer in the pub can be just as appealing as Cosmo's in the trendy bar, and let it be known.
Second, because leaving as two Cubans, who had made two French guys leave right as they were beginning to annoy one of us, are pulling out all the stops to make all three of us think that we're interesting, clever, funny (beautiful just goes without saying, all right?) and that I certainly make a good friend, a good girlfriend, and a good wife (and I'm quoting. Don't you love the pub? I do.), (where was the beginning of that sentence? at the pub, that's where) is just... great.

But I'm still starved.
Oooh. Spinning.

14 novembre 2005

Questions, questions

Run. Run now while you still can. Before you fall victim to the rapid fire of my questions. Because this is going to be bad. I can tell. I don't even have the questions yet. So when they do come, they're bound to hurt.
See, this weekend, one of my friends was over from Scotland to celebrate her 30th birthday.
OK, that's all the background you'll ever need. Oh no, wait. She's a friend from Scotland, so, as we ascertained over lunch, we've known each other for 12 years now. Don't know how she could hold that long. I certainly would have taken the first opportunity to sever all ties with me. Anyway. She didn't. Her fault, her loss, her problem, right? Twelve years of unfaltering friendship despite my legendary lack of letter-writing skills. I'm clinging to her like a mussel to its rock. Yes, to you too, Lilith.
We met in the halls of residence, probably in an advanced state of either giggling like crazy schoolgirls or ebriety. Is that a word? I've decided against looking it up. I was already mad, she was already noticeably less mad than me.
Sunday, the cold decidedly set in in Paris. What's that? Yes, there is a connection. I'm mad, not delirious. So, as it was cold, we went for more alcohol, because we might as well and it's a well-known fact that alcohol is the best cure against cold. Right? Well then. As we were coming out of the bar pub thingy place, she said "oh, I'll wear my new gloves". And got brown suede gloves out of her bag. "Ooh, very ladylike", said I. Now. This was her reply. "Well, Anne, I'm 30 now, it's time I started to act ladylike."
3. 2. 1. 0. Ignition.
You know where this is going, don't you? You're scared, now, aren't you? You know what kind of questions those are going to be, right?
I'm 32. I'm not a lady, probably never will be. Is that really bad? How long can I get away with pretending to be a teenager? Is it OK that all around me, people are "evolving", and I seem to be stuck where I was 12 years ago? Will I ever win the lottery? And when should I really start worrying that I might never have children, all the while refusing adamantly to play babysitter to my friends' children?

OK, one last for the road. This is the latest keyword search that landed on my site. This is where they landed. Oi, you, come back! How did you really get here???

13 novembre 2005

Honestly.

Tonight, hope flared up. An idea reared up its pretty head. An idea for a blog post. I swear. I was at a bar with some friends (it seems I spent the whole weekend in cafés and restaurants and pubs and bars. Ace.), we were thinking of what restaurant we were going to grace with our presence, and suddenly, there it was. The idea that was going to save this blog from certain death, either out of boredom or through hara-kiri - because blogs have feelings too, you know, and being abandoned for "so" long was definitely not helping this particular blog's self-esteem so it was crying, huddled in a corner of cyberspace, and nobody cared. Nobody cared. Well, you did, but you don't post here, so you were helping HaloScan's self-esteem, but not Blogger's. And who cares about Blogger's self-esteem when you can't even have long dashes (or whatever those are called in English) on Blogger, I hear your smoke-addled copy-editor-at-heart voices pipe up in slight annoyance. Or is it my smoke-addled, alcohol-laden voice? Whatever. Does that even make sense? No, don't answer that. In any case, something obviously cares, but that particular something is merely drooling and definitely not equipped to deal with punctuation angst.
Talking of which, I have just apparently deleted the whole Special Characters thingy from the Word Insert roll-down menu thingy, because I really wanted a long dash thingy in this post somewhere. I'm a bit lost. Can someone really do that? Can someone please undo it? Please? And now I can't even remember where I wanted the long dash thingy in the first place. Sweet baby J.
So anyway. Yeah, I had an idea, and then I lit a cigarette, or had another sip of beer, or talked more crap, and poof, the idea went up in smoke or down the drain or in one ear and out the other, or wherever ideas go to DIE, and now I'm back at square one. I am loving this week already.

12 novembre 2005

CanonFirefox. You can.

Or:
"Thank you, Dimitri Firefox, thank you. Well done."

Check this out. (via them, of course)

09 novembre 2005

Hmmm.

I have sweet fuck-all to say, my darlings. And what I do have to say (because fuck-all is a slight exaggeration, I bet you would never have expected me to exaggerate, right? I hate to be predictable, I told you that, didn't I?), I can't actually express properly. It seems I can't handle work and blog anymore. Oh how things change.
Plus when I try to write, I throw in an innumerable number (does that make sense at all? See? See what's happening to me? I'm changing.) of I's. This won't do at all.
What's the weather like where you are?

07 novembre 2005

Tell me why I don't like Mondays (bis)

Things that were going to trigger something and then, poof, the moment passed:
Winsome... - losesome? That made me laugh, what can I say. I'm simple.
Send an email time capsule to yourself, why don't you...? That's spooky. Write an email, send it, forget about it, and receive something from your past self in however much time? Spooky. I will though. I'm a sucker.

I had a violence-themed weekend: the riots have apparently reached Paris (yes, things are fine so far, no, I do not condone violence, yes, the situation is ever so slightly more complicated than I care to explain or than I understand), A History of Violence, Match Point, and several episodes of Deadwood.
I hope nobody crosses me on my way to work. Or at work for that matter. The mood is foul, people. Foul. God it's been a long time since it last was quite this foul.

Hmmm.

05 novembre 2005

Just a quickie

Ah... Weekend. Finally.
I woke up refreshed after that hectic workweek and thought I'd go get some bread for breakfast (a picture of the inside of my fridge will be posted shortly - I have no shame - and just so you know, my cupboards are pretty much in that same state).

As I didn't have any cash, I needed to get some (my logic knows no break, even on the weekend). Dutifully stopped at the ATM on the way to the boulangerie, and was dodging the dogturds on the pavement when I heard a very suburbanly accented "Madame!". I thought "uh-oh, no, not married. Am I?". And then, "uh-oh, forgotten my card in the slot, you cow, wake up before I go out!" ("you" and "me" are just symptoms of my split personalities - please don't worry your pretty little heads about that). I turned back and saw a girl who was indeed waving something at me. I took a few steps toward her and she went "you forgot your cash!" I think I'll have to go back to bed now.
I hope she has a good life.

And if Nicolas Sarkozy wants more proof that the suburban youths are only out to burn cars and be a pain in the good citizen's back, well, there goes, eh.

04 novembre 2005

Dreams... are my reality...

Of course those of you (hopefully a majority) who don't know this little masterpiece of a French teen movie that is La Boum (boum is the name of the first teen parties, where the first groping and tentative kissing and bad, bad, dancing will happen, encouraged by vast quantities of Coke-acola) won't understand the reference in the title - it's the movie's theme song. But you'll get the gist, I'm sure.

You remember that a couple months - months already? - ago, I determined that George, Jeff and me were history. Mostly because I just can't deal with egos the size of weather balloons, as I've got mine to consider, you understand.

Well, it seems that this sad fact has finally registered with George. And my, has he pulled out all the stops to woo me back. He even went so far as to guest-star in my dream last night.
Nice dream. Lovely dream. He magically appeared at my parents' house (do you think that seeing a magic show could have that kind of effect? Sign me up for once a week.), and proceeded to charm the pants off me, my niece and my sister (figuratively, pick your minds from the gutter, you filthy animals you), used the bathroom to take a shower, and at 44, he's in great shape, let me tell you. Great shape.
And he joined us in that greatest trap of all, the family reunion... One of my aunts was delighted to have George Clooney in the picture, but I didn't care. I'd seen him naked, you see.

Have a lovely Friday, people.

03 novembre 2005

It's magic!

I'd like to dedicate this post to my former economics teacher in Scotland.
Don't run away! I mean you can, but don't think this is going to be about economics. I did maths yesterday, that used up a good portion of my available brain power, there's no way I could humanly talk economics today.
No, he just used to say that a lot. Maybe he still does, I don't know. He was ace. Maybe he still is, too.

Anyway. I went to the theee-aaah-terrr yesterday. To see a... magic show!
Yes, there's your link. Today's going to be difficult, isn't it? Have more coffee.
It's called "Tout est écrit" (Everything's Already Written, or some such), at the Folies-Bergère theatre, and it revolves around the fact that of course there are tricks that can be prepared, but as soon as the audience gets to participate, all bets are off because the audience says/thinks/does what they want. I think that's the biggest trick of all, getting us to believe that, but anyway. It was really quite good, very very funny, which is a good thing with magic, especially as it was very dark humour. Also, I won't explain any tricks to you, but let's just say some of them were really quite lovely. And when they killed that dove... man that was just powerful.

So after that we went drinking. That was very good too.

Oh and I've posted a few miscellaneous pictures.

Hmmm. Thursday. Can't wait for tomorrow.

02 novembre 2005

Weird science

"A modern though little realised example of undecimal counting is seen in the ISBN of published books. Any ISBN comprises ten digits. If you multiply the first by ten, the second by nine, the third by eight, and so on, summing the results as you go along, the result will always be divisible by eleven." William Hartston; What Are The Chances Of That?: Fabulous Facts About Figures; Metro Books; 2004.
Found on Wordsmith.org
See, this is exactly why I could be Rain Man. Because, reading this, I thought "Wow. Neat!" and, then "Oh, I wish I had found that".
But in fact (is that allowed? "But in fact" sounds like a copy editor's nightmare) I'm pretty sure that multiplying all digits by n(+1) until n is 10 (oh I've forgotten the whole math writing thing, shame, pity, frustration!) then summing them pretty much explains the whole divisible by 11 thing somehow.
OK. Listen, if I stumbled upon a truth that I hold self-evident, but that the powers that be don't want you to be aware of, because the truth is out there and all that, and I am eliminated by masked contract killers on a scooter while sauntering away to work, you'll know I was right. Please tell my friends and parents (should that be parents and friends?) that I loved them. And don't be sad, today's a good day to die.
Oh my god. Kiefer Sutherland. I've just quoted Kiefer Sutherland. He wasn't particularly appealing in Flatliners, though, but as he's more than made up for it in "24", I shall be a happy* girl and declare this to be a good day indeed. In which case, I might not be completely ready to die? Should I just delete this whole thing so I can enjoy today, or leave it out there for the whole world (heh) to see, and take a chance in the name of... something? Hmmm.
Talking of Kiefer Sutherland, who else thinks that there's a resemblance between him and Kevin Bacon? And does that mean that one of their moms knew the other dad? And am I now in danger of being killed by one of their moms? Or by the other dad? Ooh, wouldn't it be glamorous to be killed by Donald himself? Now, I'm not saying he knew Kevin's mom. I'm just... you know... starting a rumor. Completely different.
Work is going to be difficult today. Not so much for me, though.

* there. Kiefer Sutherland, and it's "happy", no -ish involved. God I'm sad.

01 novembre 2005

Untitled

Maybe I shouldn't be posting this, as I don't like it. Help me?

The phone rang, jerking him out of an already fitful sleep.
2:34 a.m. was staring unforgivingly at him from the bright green LED display of the alarm clock. His heart was racing. He picked up, wide awake at once.
"Hello?"
No reply.
"Hello?!"
Whoever it was on the other end was stubbornly silent.
"Oh for fuck's sake."
He hung up, furious. Sleep was not going to come back for a good long while now. He lit a cigarette. The pounding in his heart quickened immediately for a couple of pulses, which he always found slightly worrying, and subsided.
It was the third night in a row now. Specifically, it had happened every night since he'd arrived.
"Fuck."
He looked up, as if surprised to hear his own voice. Scratching his head, both literally and figuratively, he shuffled to the minibar. A nightcap would serve two purposes: it would clear his head immediately so he could think about this, and the right dose would put him to sleep in half an hour.
He was here on business. Apart from his wife and his immediate hierarchy, no one had his hotel number. Which only highlighted the problem: nobody calls the same wrong number three nights in a row at the same time every night. So either somebody was calling a wrong number without knowing it was wrong and that someone certainly was screwed in the head then, or his teammates had decided to play one decidedly screwed-up prank on him. His wife was out of the equation. She was one of those people who went to bed at 11:00, fell asleep at 11:05 and woke up rosy and fresh at 7:29, right before the alarm went off; plus she knew how important this trip was for him. Hell, for them. If they wanted that house they'd had their eyes on, the bonus would be a welcome supplement.

He recapped the little information he had, to try and see if he wasn't overlooking a glaring obviousness. He'd arrived three days prior, had gone straight to the office for meetings in rapid succession, and had only checked into his room at lunchtime, dumping his luggage and going for a quick shower. No altercation of any kind, no flirting with the hotel waitresses, nothing. Since his arrival, he'd only slept in his room, spending the rest of his time with the local staff. He had dutifully called his wife before dinner every evening, and had video-conferenced with his boss every day. No need for the hotel number. There had been no message for him at the desk. Mind-boggling.
He shrugged and went back to bed. The nightcap worked, he was asleep in a couple of minutes.

The next day passed in a frenzy of meetings, and each time the phone rang, he jumped a little. He felt like he was being watched, except he knew he wasn't.
In the evening, he agreed to go out with the team, and had a great time. Alcohol was consumed, and it felt good. He knew he would sleep well, at least until 2:34.

Back home, his wife set the alarm for 2:33. She hated having to wake up during the night, she detested the idea of waking him up, but spending a night without him was just not imaginable this time round. She just didn't understand why she couldn't say a word, why every time she hung up she cried, and why she didn't even think of stopping. One for the couch.

31 octobre 2005

Not much to say, I'm afraid

Should you get bored, however, you might want to give this little game a try (found it through him).
Happy Hallowe'en?

30 octobre 2005

Week-end stuff you'd never do on a normal weekday, and let that be a lesson to us all

Nothing, right? That's what I thought.
Okay, I'm hungover. Kind of more severely than I thought I would be. Plus the end of daylight saving has seen me awake at 7:30 this morning, after a very fitful and short night. Honestly, if I didn't know better, I'd think life was turning right back on me. But I do know better, and the fact that I'm slightly more severely hungover than anticipated doesn't in fact mean that I'm holding my head and moaning in pain,
whimpering that I want water, paracetamol and cold pizza. Well. I did have a craving for a Burger King bacon cheeseburger this morning, but first off, that is just not manageable in the morning, and second, we don't have Burger King in France anymore. And I can't face setting foot at McDonald's. One of my little quirks.

Man, even hungover, I'm brilliantly clever, cunning and coordinated. Which doesn't mean much, but I really wanted a third c-word.
Why clever, you ask? Because I have been tagged, by Terri, who should know better but is obviously just as much of a rebel as I am, and I'm supposed to tell you of my quirks. See? Clever, no?
Thing is, you know some of my idiosyncrasies, most of my neuroses, and a good deal about my madness. What kind of quirks could you possibly want to know now?
- I see signs all the time. Not dead people, though. But signs. Of course I make them fit my needs and requirements, which implies that the same "sign" can mean this today and its exact opposite tomorrow, but they're still signs. Like the fact that a ladybug has very recently chosen my ceiling as its permanent address is a very good sign (scroll down on that link to see just how good).
- I can ask zillions of questions on any given topic, be it apiculture, Buddhism, or the inner workings of the internal combustion engine, as long as you're ready to answer them. I love when people explain things to me. This is probably why I'm a translator.
- Similarly, I will be ready to try anything (apart from bungee jumping), as long as somebody is willing to show me.
- I actually like doing the washing-up.
- When I'm sitting with friends, my left leg/knee will usually be jigging on its own, and I cannot stop it. It never happens in a formal setting. When I was a teen, a friend told me that heavy metallers did that, make of that what you will.
- I think in English probably as much as I do in French, even though I lack the vocabulary. I wonder if that makes my thinking in English limited, or just more... conceptual.
- In the morning, before going to work, I have a cup of instant coffee. I don't actually enjoy the coffee itself, but I love the ritual. Don't ask.
- I really don't like weddings, and yet will cry at every. single. one I attend.
- The quirkiest quirk of all: I don't tag. Feel free to play, just let us know in the comment box.

27 octobre 2005

Let's face the music...

... and dance, shall we?

This happy-ish state is the pits. The pits, I tell you.
I haven't had a good rant in, like, forever, I'm smiling at random people, and boy do random people smile back or what? And no, surprisingly, not or what. They, in fact, smile back. Like what I have is catching. Like what I need right now is a world where everyone is smiling.
I go to work with a smile, for crying out loud, that is just ridiculous, now. Even seeing and smelling morning-faced and morning-breathed people on the metro doesn't manage to bring me down. Now, granted, the fact that I'm trapped in my own musical little bubble might also be to blame, but come on! On my way to work with a smile, who am I, Laura Ingalls?
Plus I've been supplying my workmates with endless fits of the giggles (first one to read this and comment to the contrary gets... Oh, who am I kidding these days... you'd probably get a sweet smile and a pat on the back). Work and giggles in the same sentence, can you spot the error? What is wrong with me?
I want sour, dour, and... something else -our (flower, this is what I'm thinking. Gah. Or maybe it's flour. That would be only marginally better). I want to stop smiling naffly at that teenage boy who looked oh so tough when he got on the metro, only to fall promptly asleep on the seat and suddenly look 4 again (and he'd probably hate to know that, so why can't I?), and I want to scream at the fact that happy-ish is either too little or too much.
I can't cope!

OK. Slightly better now. With a little bit of luck, I'll have a nightmare tonight and be back to my normal, real, proper self in the morning.

26 octobre 2005

Due to popular demand

Corpse Bride, a review.

It's pretty good, really.
And the musical numbers are good, I suppose.
Oh, and aesthetically, it's really good.
The acting is rather good.
And the story of course is very good.

All in all, I thought it really was rather enjoyable.

And no, I cannot compare it with The Nightmare Before Christmas, because I haven't seen The Nightmare Before Christmas.
And even though I shouldn't compare both, I will anyway, because I'm such a rebel, Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is in fact much better, in my opinion.

Please tell me you won't ask for a review again.

25 octobre 2005

I'll have what they're having

Some people are getting really disappointed with me these days. I'm talking of all the guys (I say guys, but there might be laydees in there, I don't really know) who stumble upon this site through Google or some other adult search engine, through keywords that baffle me. Sexual keywords. Apparently, some people flock here to get their fix of sex and I don't even know why, because, well. Because. The only thing that it evokes in me is that obviously, they're much, much sadder than me if this is where they think they'll be getting any... thrills.
Sure, I know why, as the string (which is, oh so ironically, French for thong) they used did get some results on this site, and serves me right for using bad, bad language, but I don't understand why, as it's never as a "complete string". So they'll be looking for blonde bimbos in thongs (yes, I figured it was time I let them have a little fun) and will come across a "review" (which, we ascertained yesterday, I don't do) of the French Bachelor's season opening. Or they'll be looking for sex on a washing machine, and they'll have to read through my plumbing fears that my machine might explode one day in a flurry of clothes, foam and soapy water before realising that no, actually, there's no sex involved. Or they'll be googling other strings that my prude conscience has obviously blocked (or maybe I don't really want any more sickos), but my oh my, people are very imaginative.
Or they'll be looking for a Celine Dion instrumental. Which is about as kinky as can get, really.
Anyway. As a... service to these people, I will now talk about sex. Because. No, silly, still single. But yesterday, right in the middle of the work day, in the office, with my workmate sitting right beside me, I shrieked "my, that is so much better than an orgasm!". Which obviously made her snap right out of her iPod.
After a long struggle with the evil powers of the computer, I had finally managed to perfectly align two tables on two consecutive PowerPoint slides that had no template to speak of, you see.
So, yeah, much better than an orgasm.
And then I went for a ciggie. As you do.
There you go, people. Knock yourselves out.

24 octobre 2005

Monday night at the movies

Dire Straits scarred me for life. Anyway.
I've just seen Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. A full review is being edited, checked and proofread as I type, but have no fear, as you will not, in fact, be subjected to it.
A few of us were meeting up for said movie, among which one girl whose birthday it was. We thought we'd go see the film, and have drinks afterwards, in workweek evening celebration manner thing.
She didn't show up. Let me say that again for emphasis. She didn't show up. W
e went to a cinema on the other side of town, saw the movie, and went back home, on the other side of town, and she didn't show up.
Sweet, no? Sheesh. Her loss.
That's all I gotta say.
Oh, OK, and that Corpse Bride is pretty good.

23 octobre 2005

Spoke too soon, eh

Turns out happyishness might be a bit trickier than I thought.
I realised this week-end that I have been living in a self-congratulating and self-deluded bubble all my own. Let me explain - and just so you're warned, this might be a bit hard emotionally, but please don't cry. I'm coping as best I can now, I'm strong enough to talk about it, but if you start crying, I will too, and I've done too much crying as it is already.
OK. Wow, I don't even know where to start. Anne, take a deep breath, it'll be fine. So. This week-end was going to be spent enjoying some me-and-my-flat time, just lolling about doing bits and bobs, at no rush, and it started really fantastically. The whole listening-to-music-and-eating-tartines-for-breakfast-while-catching-up-on-reading shebang. I felt great. Not even good, great. Close on delirious, even. And that's when the shit hit the fan...
I heard my singing voice.
It's horrible. Now, granted, I was at the time blaring Pearl Jam's Alive at the top of my lungs, which can never be flattering apart for Eddie Veder, but still.
As you read this, just know that
I am in fact devastated. Tissues are littering the floor, and I've even refused to pick up the phone, because I'm so scared of hearing it again, as the way I go "oui allô ?" is a little bit sing-song. Oh dear. Even typing the words is painful.
Understand, I am not mad at my voice for dumping me, it's its prerogative after all, even though I did think the both of us were in it for the long haul. I think it was the smoking that did it for it. After a while, it just couldn't take it anymore. Can't blame it. I just wish I could have had a little advance warning is all. Plus I'm so grateful it didn't leave me for another woman. That would have been way too much to bear. Well. At least I don't think it did.
To think only last week I was saying that I could be Bette Midler... Oh shit, maybe it was the comparison with Jessica Simpson that made it crack?!
And why did it have to be my voice?
Why wasn't it my laugh?
Now I'm at a loss as to how to win it back. I thought of appealing to its compassion, by resorting only to sign language until it condescended to come back, but will it ever the same if it does? Surely a reunion out of condescension cannot be a good thing. And only now do I realise that I never said to my voice that I loved it. I was always a little derogatory, a little dismissive of it, I always took it for granted. Never once did I say that I was grateful for what we had, never once paid it a genuine compliment.
I miss you voice, please come back...

Urgh. as in update (sorta)
HaloScan is having the mother of all crashes, it seems. So, on the off chance that you were going to post a comment, don't think I'm banning you. I'm not. Or maybe I am, but that's not the point right now.


Woo-hoo, as in update, bis
It appears HaloScan's working again. Thank whoever for forums.

Can you believe that?

I've been tagged for a literary meme, by Jason, over at Clarity of Night. Let's get this done, shall we?

1. Take the first five novels from your bookshelf.

2. Book 1 -- first sentence.
3. Book 2 -- last sentence on page 50.
4. Book 3 -- second sentence on page 100.
5. Book 4 -- next to the last sentence on page 150.
6. Book 5 -- final sentence of the book.
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.
8. Feel free to "cheat" to make it a better paragraph.
9. Name your sources.
10.Post to your blog.

Of course I'm arranging the rules to suit my fancy. My books are sorted alphabetically, which means that among my first five books are books in French, which is not going to help me or you. So... Not that long ago, I recommended several books, I'm using 5 of those now. I did change the tenses a bit so that the sentences would kind of suit each other, but asked for forgiveness beforehand, and that's really the only tweaking I did.

The library is cool and smells like carpet cleaner, although all I can see is marble.
Slater, affecting boredom, is waving to the witnesses. He believes my killer will be caught. This ghost has been summoned not by Lolita imitating Hermione, or the inscrutable twins disappearing into the night. That much I know.

Cast, in order of appearance:
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
My Life as a Fake - Peter Carey
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Love Me - Garrison Keillor

You wanna play, tag yourselves in the comments, okay?

20 octobre 2005

Hmpf

See, I'm in a bit of puddle (I had to think about this, as I always always always want to say "poodle", and I don't think I can cope with the hate-mail).
Life is kind of pretty good to me these days. I don't want to jinx myself, but it kinda is. All financial trouble aside, which I brought onto myself anyway, all singleness aside, which I suspect those three assholes in their car last week would say I brought onto myself as well: one of them digged me after all, this might have been my chance!, all looking-for-a-job-in-another-country-not-working-out situation aside - oh yes, you might not be aware of that, but a hospital (I've
obviously been applying left, right and center) out in Middle of Nowhere, USA, is currently reviewing my criminal record; however, I've been strongly advised not to take the job should I be offered it: it is the US, granted, but Middle of Nowhere does not have any appeal whatsoever; all that aside, then, I'm generally feeling pretty good.
My problem is, I can't write* when I feel good. And quite rightly, too! Nothing to rant and rave about, nothing to scream obnoxiously in silence about (yeah, I'll let you ponder this one), no names to call anyone... No wonder, really.
Sure I could talk about the fact that I've been having several bad hair days in a row and that, honestly, it's getting quite tiresome, but that's hardly my nails and knuckles, is it? And I've done that already. Or I could post an untimely rant about buses and metros that's been sitting in my drafts for ever, but I don't even know why I'm keeping it, it's that bad.
So should I decide to be
happy-ish (first, I really don't want to jinx myself, and second, come on, if I actually said I was happy, I'd probably get struck by lightning, but, having decided once and for all that I'm not dying before I'm married**, I am not taking any chances...), which would lead to my abandoning this here site and the umpteen stories that I've started and not finished? Or should I go for the doomed wannabe writer attitude, shuffling forlornly while lamenting the unfairness of it all?
I'm not asking for suggestions for (un)happiness, by the way. Just vocalizing my puddle. And yes, I'll let you ponder this one too.

* Yes, OK, I am physically able to write, but I'm putting even myself to sleep.
**Re-reading this, I realise I might have stumbled upon the secret of eternal life...

19 octobre 2005

Goodness, you're all so literal...

I wasn't really drunk or hungover (shhh, my workmates* might be reading...!), I was a bit tired, is all. From all that hard work I've been doing these past couple days. Is all. Really. Honestly. I mean, you trust me, right**?
Well, I'm glad we cleared that right up.
Because... I have a bit of an announcement to make. A bit. Nothing major. But still. (And yes I have decided to speak in fragments today. Because. I. Can.)
OK. So. If you remember, a while past, I mentioned a new site, called Voice of a city, a new "collective" blog written by people in Paris for English-speaking people who might want to visit but haven't yet booked their ticket and are looking for added incentive (ooh, proper sentence). No, I'm not the added incentive, hold your horses right there, bucko. But. I'm in! Yes, I'm tooting my own horn, so what?! I.Am.In!
OK, you're dying for a url, now, right? No can do, I'm afraid. I know. This is mental torture at its best, and it shouldn't be allowed, and someone call the police. But it's. Not. My fault. (What, you thought I had dropped the fragments? My, you just don't know me at all, do you?) We're still in the Beta testing phase (I love the techie talk, it's like I've been using it my whole life, no?) so not just now. But you know what they say. The longer the wait, the better the date. Or. Something...

On the other hand, I could also tell you about that so-called horror movie I'm watching right now. And that, believe you me, would definitely qualify as torture. Thomas Calabro. Surely that's enough torture right there? Oh, OK. Well, in that case.
They Nest. You asked. So bad. Sooooo bad. Oh my god. So bad. They paid people to do that movie. So bad.

* Nah, don't worry, only the good ones do. Hi! Oh. Boss. Hi...
** What do you mean, no??

I think I might be in denial

Drunk on a school night, nice.
Hungover on a school morning, not so.
Coffee, lots.
Metro, arrrgh.
Work, oh pooh.
Music, mmmm, nice.

18 octobre 2005

Ouh la la

Today is my first day at work.
I know. Scary, isn't it?
It's OK, it's only for 3 weeks, but it still means I have to be up and productively active straight away (well...) instead of faffing about for a couple hours after falling from bed as I've been doing so far. I still faf about, it wouldn't be a workweek morning if I didn't, just less. But it's hard.
I don't know how I'll handle the rush hour people on the metro, maybe I'll turn into the commuter from hell due to lack of practice? Retrospectively,
the metro ride was smooth. People don't look happy though.
I don't know how I'll handle having coworkers again, should I ask them if they want a coffee or bark at them to go get me one? Retrospectively, I was asked if I wanted one. Twice. I think they remember me well.
The good thing is I know everyone in the office.
The bad thing is I know everyone in the office.
Och well, we'll see. If you don't hear from me again within the week, you'll know that I was driven crazy by structure and organisation. I got used to not having either very quickly. And now of course it's hard to get used to having either again.

16 octobre 2005

Culture!

Every now and again, I have to do this, i.e. write a completely useless (not to say bad) review of something very cultural that I have attended.
Today, I give you... Richard III. Yes, I spent a whole afternoon in a very crowded theatre, watching Billy Boy's tragedy, sitting elbow to elbow with Claudia Cardinale, to whom I totally forgot to mention that I was completely available these days, should she need a younger version of herself for a biopic of some sort. Oh well.
OK, so I'm not a younger version of Claudia Cardinale, I am just living in my own little Murano glass bubble. And?
It doesn't change the fact that Richard III as directed by Philippe Calvario is really brilliant, even despite the "slight" liberties that said Calvario has taken with the costumes (Japanese samurai kimonos, stunning, and other more controversial stuff, to me anyway) and even with the text sometimes (which had me in all sorts of befuddlement as I wondered what exactly the point was of changing a word, or adding a lame French cultural reference), but I hear it's very in, this.
Also, the soundtrack was really... interesting. Yes, a soundtrack. I know. I was surprised too. But once it started, I really couldn't dispute the legitimacy of Marilyn Manson's cover of Sweet Dreams. Or of the drums intro of Queen's We Will Rock You.
Acting was flawless (mostly, anyway), and even though I'm not a big fan of Philippe Torreton, I have to admit that his Richard was impressive. Oh, OK, let me a bit particular. "My kingdom for a horse" might have been said better, but one line, who am I to say anything? Nobody, apparently, that's who, because the friend to whom I spoke my mind in no uncertain terms afterwards (judge by yourselves: "I thought his rendition of "My kingdom for a horse" was a bit lame." I don't mince my words, right? Oh dear, I hope nobody overheard) had
in fact found it sounded very true. Oh well.
In any case, they'll soon be on tour across France, so if you have 3 hours and 40 minutes (...) that you just don't know what to do with, I suggest you go and seat yourself in a red
plush seat and take a long look at the evil that power hunger can bring.
If you're not in France, well, I don't know, go watch Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. That's very very good too.

15 octobre 2005

Homework

Now you people are just doing this to me. Tagging. Meme tagging. This time, it's Flare and the Five Thing Meme, where you're meant to say 5 random things about yourself.
Here goes, then.
1. I was a politics freak when I was 7. I loved everything politics. I loved to listen to politicians, I loved that I could recognise them and remember their names, I loved that I could understand about 1% of what they were saying, I don't know. I just really liked politics. And then it passed.
2. As of last evening, I've been stalked 5 times in my life. Stalked as in wondering how exactly it's going to finish. Each time as bloody terrifying, although flattering in a "listen, I really appreciate that you or your buddy find me to your liking, but really, it's late, I'm walking alone on a not so populated street, and I'm pretty sure that if you attempt anything, I will have to hurt you. Hopefully I'll manage to anyway. And it will hurt me more than you in the end but it's for your own good, you understand. And stop telling me that you/your pal really dig(s) me, I don't care"
way. Fucker. That's two fuckers in one week. Two too many.
3. If I had any real talent, I could be... Bette Midler. I love both acting and singing. OK, so I'd probably turn out to be the less-something-something Jessica Simpson. And believe me, I'm so not trying to flatter myself here.
4. Sometimes I think so much that I can't actually think. Does that make sense?
5. I can bend only the top knuckle on all
my fingers. Freaky. Love it. That and the knuckle cracking will ensure that I suffer greatly in my old days, à la James Coburn. That's all right though, I've just made a sentence that contains both James Coburn and me.

You want to tell us random things? Tag yourself in the comments.